Donald Trump's presidency is the 'most failed first 100 days ever', says US historian

'I don’t know how it can get much worse,' says Douglas Brinkley

Charlotte England
Wednesday 22 March 2017 12:29 GMT
Donald Trump shakes hands with FBI director James Comey on 22 January 2017
Donald Trump shakes hands with FBI director James Comey on 22 January 2017 (Getty)

Donald Trump has led "the most failed first 100 days of any president,” a leading historian has claimed.

“To be as low as he is in the polls, in the 30s, while the FBI director is on television saying they launched an investigation into your ties with Russia, I don’t know how it can get much worse,” Douglas Brinkley, a best-selling biographer of presidents Gerald Ford, Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt, told The Washington Post.

He added: “This is the most failed first 100 days of any president.”

His comments came after FBI director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the Bureau had found no evidence that Barack Obama had ordered wiretaps in Trump Tower during the presidential election - contradicting Mr Trump's Twitter accusations.

Testifying under oath he said that his agency was conducting an investigation into possible Trump administration ties to Russia.

As a result, Mr Brinkley, who also teaches history at a private research university in Texas, said: “There’s a smell of treason in the air.”

He added: “Imagine if J Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-boggling event.”

Mr Trump's approval ratings are far worse than those of any former president at this point in their presidency. According to Gallup's tracking polls, Mr Trump had an approval rating of 39 per cent during polling conducted between 13 and 19 March.

Other presidents had far higher approval figures at the same time during their first year in office: Barack Obama had a 62 per cent approval rating, George W Bush had a 58 per cent approval rating and Bill Clinton had the previous lowest rating at 53 per cent.

Dwight Eisenhower had the highest approval rating at in March of his first year at 74 per cent, just ahead of John F Kennedy at 73 per cent.

Mr Brinkley has criticised the Trump administration in the past.

A few days after Mr Trump's January inauguration, he questioned whether the new president was sabotaging himself after he made dubious claims about the crowd size at the event.

“The truth of the matter is he had a successful inauguration with a respectful crowd," Mr Brinkley told the Politico website at the time. "The transition of power went off without a hitch. His supporters were amiable by and large. But then he can never let go and stop watching cable TV. Now he's off to the worst start of a presidency in a very long time.”

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